Control of standing and gait using electrical stimulation: Influence of muscle model complexity on control strategy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The human body is a multiple-link, unstable inverted pendulum and remains upright only through central nervous system (CNS) motor control programs acting through neuromuscular system actuators. The control problem is to provide reliable, static balance while standing and dynamic balance and trajectory tracking while walking. This chapter presents three approaches to control standing and gait in paraplegics through functional electrical stimulation. The approaches differ in their requirements for modeling the muscle actuator. The first approach describes a detailed muscle model and presents methods for the rapid experimental parameterization of the model. The second requires a less detailed model and knowledge of model error bounds to design advanced, nonlinear controllers that guarantee stability. The third approach needs no muscle model, because it controls limb trajectories through combining stimulation with an orthosis containing controllable friction brakes at the joints. Future clinical systems may use one or a combination of these approaches to restore useful function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-381
Number of pages13
JournalProgress in Brain Research
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Whitaker Foundation, the Whitaker Health Sciences Fund, the W.M. Keck Foundation, and by BRSG 2 SO7 RR07047-23 awarded by the Biomedical Research Support Grant Program, Division of Research Resources, National Institutes of Health. Simulations and experiments were performed in the Eric P. and Evelyn E. Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation at MIT, in the Whitaker College at MIT, and in the West Roxbury Veterans Administration Medical Center, West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Significant contributions were made by MIT graduate students Karen Palmer, Jeffrey Hausdorff, Karon Maclean, Daniel DiLorenzo and Richard Willis.


  • Functional neuromuscular stimulation
  • Human muscle models
  • Muscle force


Dive into the research topics of 'Control of standing and gait using electrical stimulation: Influence of muscle model complexity on control strategy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this